Tuesday, 7 June 2022

8th Croatian Football Federation Executive Board Session Held in Solin

June 7, 2022 - The 8th Croatian Football Federation Executive Board session was held in Solin on Monday, at which a decision was made on the names of men's football competitions in the upcoming season.

On Monday, the Croatian Football Federation Executive Board met in Solin ahead of the UEFA League of Nations match between Croatia and France at Poljud, reports HNS.

A decision was made that the highest level of competition in men's football will again be called the Croatian Football League, while the second, third, and fourth levels will be called, respectively, the First Football League, the Second Football League, and the Third Football League. Subsequently, it is possible to add to these names the name of the title sponsor of each level of competition.

"We wanted to single out the first stage of the competition and give additional importance to the lower stages of the competition, so we considered several solutions. In the end, we decided to return the first stage of the competition to its original and recognizable name, Croatian Football League, which has become common among fans, in public, and in the media, which we have witnessed in recent years when the name was the First League, but we all said that it is ours - HNL.

In this way, we paid tribute to the history and recognition of the HNL while avoiding international expressions such as "premier" or "elite," which have no tradition in Croatian football. We have also emphasized second, third, and fourth level clubs. Furthermore, we will continue to strengthen all marketing, promotional and commercial aspects," said HNS President Marijan Kustić.

The Executive Board also accepted the decision on distributing funds from the TV rights contract, whereby the largest part will go to the clubs of the Croatian Football League - 9.33 million euros. The rest of the funds will be directed to the First Football League, 1st ŽNL, 1st HMNL, HNK for youth, HNK for women, and HNK in indoor soccer.

The Executive Board determined the participants in the competition from the first to the third level, i.e., the qualification for the First and Second Football Leagues.

The new Ordinance on Football Competitions, the Ordinance on Club Cooperation, the Licensing Report for the Competition Year 2022/23, the Report on the Organization of Football Camps in Australia and the USA, and the document Basics of Veteran Football were adopted.

The Executive Board also decided to purchase artificial grass needed to build seven more lawns in counties across the country.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Monday, 6 June 2022

UEFA Nations League: Croatia and France Draw at Poljud (1:1)

June 6, 2022 - Croatia and France draw at Poljud in the 2nd round of the UEFA Nations League at Poljud on Monday. 

Croatia and France met for the 2nd round of the Nations League on Monday at Poljud Stadium in Split. Croatia opened this year's Nations League with a shock 0:3 defeat to Austria in Osijek. France also lost their opening match against Denmark 1:2. 

Both Croatia and France were weakened due to injuries. Croatia was without Ivan Perišič, Marko Livaja, Joško Gvardiol, and Petar Musa. For France, Mbappe, Benzema, Kante, and Coman did not properly train with the team last night. Croatia, however, has yet to beat France. 

As coach Zlatko Dalić said at the press conference last night, France even without their usual stars is still France - and even their B team is a force to be reckoned with. 

Tonight is also Croatia captain Luka Modrić's 150th appearance for the Croatia national team. He made his debut on March 1, 2006, in Croatia's 3:2 victory against Argentina. Luka has scored 21 goals in 149 games so far, participated in three World Cups and four European Championships, and has been the team captain since 2016.

Lineups

Croatia: Livaković, Juranović, Erlić, Vida, Barišić, Brozović, Kovačić, Modrić, Majer, Brekalo, Budimir

France: Maignan, Pavard, Saliba, Kimpembe, Digne, Guendouzi, Tchouaméni, Diaby, Rabiot, Nkunku, Ben Yedder

Match Report

Croatia maintained possession for the first five minutes of the match, with a few potential attacks in the penalty area. Croatia's first corner came in the 6th minute. Luka played short to Brekalo, who played back to Luka and then Majer for a shot off target. 

France picked up the pace in the next 5 minutes and had their first corner in the 10th minute. 

Juranović headed out a close encounter for France for their second corner of the match in the 12th minute. Kovačić played Budimir into the penalty spot the minute after which was cleared by the France defense. 

Croatia's defense was solid tonight in comparison to the debacle last weekend in Osijek. Calm, collected, and without any mishaps so far. 

Croatia's best chance of the match came in the 18th minute - Kovačić played a brilliant through ball to Budimir who shot near post forcing a tricky save for the France keeper. The ball went out for a corner. 

France had another chance in the 23rd minute which was shot wide. 

A minute later a breakaway for Kovačić saw him fouled outside the box. The ref decided to play advantage for Croatia instead, and France won back possession. 

Lovro Majer was fouled in France's half which the ref did not call. France then pushed up the pitch and scored an offside goal in the 31st minute. 

Croatia was awarded a free kick in the 33rd minute but Vida was offside.  

Livakovic made a brilliant save after Vida let Diaby get a shot off in the 39th minute - and another save moments after that. France had another corner in the 40th minute and another two corners three minutes later. Croatia's defense had no problem clearing the play. 

One minute of stoppage time was added to the first half. The match was 0:0. 

The second half started without any substitutions. 

Lovro Majer sent a stunning pass through the France defense, which found Ante Budimir's head, but the ball went wide of the goal. 

But it was France to score first. Rabiot made it 0:1 in the 52nd minute. 

Croatia moved the ball nicely into France's half in the 57th minute and was dangerous in front of the France keeper but could not get a shot off.  

Juranović found Budimir at the top of the box and played it back to Brozovic who couldn't find his footing to shoot. 

France subbed off Ben Yedder for Griezmann, and Kamara for Tchouameni. For Croatia, Majer came off for Pasalic and Brekalo for Orsic. 

Budimir was fouled just outside the box in the 63rd minute which the ref allowed them to play on. 

Dalic subbed off Budimir for Kramaric in the 68th minute.

Luka had a great chance in the 70th minute. He cut back to his left foot to shoot on target, forcing the France keeper to make a diving save.  

Livakovic made a brilliant save in the 75th minute to ensure the match stayed 0:1.

Luka Modric was subbed off for Luka Sucic and Mateo Kovacic for Nikola Vlasic in the 78th minute. 

Croatia had another chance in the 80th minute which was ultimately called for a penalty thanks to VAR. Kramaric made it 1:1 in the 82nd minute!

Vlasic shot on target in the 86th minute forcing the ball out for a corner. A Croatia mishap in the defense almost cost them the match two minutes later, but Griezmann shot wide of an empty goal. 

The ref added 4 minutes of stoppage time to the match in which neither team was able to score - though Sucic had a great chance. The match ended 1:1. 

Croatia plays Denmark next in Copenhagen on Friday, June 10. 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Sunday, 5 June 2022

France and Croatia Press Conferences Held Ahead of UEFA Nations League at Poljud

June 5, 2022 - France and Croatia press conferences were held at Poljud Stadium on Sunday ahead of the UEFA Nations League match on Monday in Split. 

The France captain for tomorrow's match, Presnel Kimpembe, and France coach Didier Deschamps opened the press conference at Poljud. 

Who will be the France captain? How will you play an exhausted Griezmann?

"Kimpembe will be the captain, no doubt about it. As for Griezmann, I will not judge him by one game as you do. At the end of the season, the situation is complicated for everyone. But, both for us and for Croatia, not everyone is fresh, that is clear."

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Will the tactics change because you are without some of your big players? 

"We have to give a chance to other players. For example, Lloris is the main goalkeeper, but we must also give Mike Maignan a chance to play. We planned to change before, and there are no surprising changes."

Will Mbappe play against Croatia?

"We have not given up on Mbappe for the match, We have five injured players, including Benzema. We will see who will be ready for the match."

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How do you see this rejuvenated Croatia?

"It should be noted that Croatia started the game well, but Austria was fresher. We are used to playing against Croatia and I hope that the game will be positive for us."

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France held a training session in which four players trained on a stationary bike, while the others practiced on the pitch. Mbappe, Kounde, Kante, and Coman trained on stationary bikes, while Benzema ran laps around the pitch. 

Coach Zlatko Dalić and captain Luka Modrić opened the press conference for Croatia. Luka was asked questions first: 

"We did not expect that defeat against Austria. It was a tough defeat for us. We need to look forward and not calculate too much and be depressed about it. We have France tomorrow. It's never nice to lose but maybe it's good to lose sometimes to see where our mistakes are. It's not easy to win when we aren't at our best. We will see tomorrow.

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We need to be focused. We know a tough game awaits us. We know our record against France isn't great. We are still waiting for a win. We need to believe that we can win. It'll be a full Poljud. We need to use that as a motive and turn around that losing streak. 

We know it's tough for everyone at the end of the season. It's not easy to play 4 games in 11 days in the Nations League. You are put in that situation and you need to pull through. Maybe these games would be better played in a mini-tournament instead of like this. But this is how it is. We need to be maximally focused, give our all, and do all that we can. That's how we have been preparing for tomorrow."

What about playing against Benzema?

"We both feel amazing. Everything we have done this year is amazing. Winning the 5th Champions League title is incredible. Benzema and I haven't spoken about this game yet. I just hope he won't be in the same form as he has been for tomorrow's game."

Coach Zlatko Dalić took the floor. 

"It was not a good loss. We didn't expect that against Austria. All of my losses have been in the Nations League, but we need to keep our heads up and see what we can do. We want to make up for the loss against Austria. 

Belgium, France, England, and Croatia all lost in the first round of the Nations League. Even with France playing without some of their starters tomorrow, their second team is incredible. They will always be amazing - we need to make sure we are. Every game for Croatia is important. We want to stay in the Elite Nations League."

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Croatian Cup Final: Hajduk Beats Rijeka for First Trophy in 9 Years!

May 26, 2022 - Hajduk beat Rijeka 3:1 in the Croatian Cup final on Thursday at Poljud for their first trophy in 9 years!

Hajduk and Rijeka met in the Croatian Cup final tonight at a sold-out Poljud Stadium in Split. 

Interestingly, in all four Croatian Championship matches this season, Rijeka was more successful at Poljud (1:2 and 1:3), and Hajduk fought back at Rujevica, winning 2:3 last fall and 0:3 a few weeks ago. 

Rijeka last won the Cup two years ago, while Hajduk had been waiting for any trophy for nine years, last winning the Cup in 2013. 

Rijeka and Hajduk have won the Cup six times in independent Croatia.

Lineups

HAJDUK: L. Kalinić, Mikanović, Ferro, Elez, Melnjak, Fossati, Grgić, Sahiti, Krovinović, Mlakar, Livaja; Hajduk was without Nikola Kalinić due to a virus. 

RIJEKA: Labrović - Krešić, Velkovski, Smolčić - Ampem, Selahi, Čerin, Vukčević - Pavičić - Obregon, Drmić

Recap

Hajduk showed they were hungry already in the first two minutes of the match, maintaining possession with Melnjak taking the first shot on goal. Livaja shot over the crossbar a minute later. 

Rijeka found their rhythm in the next few minutes and pushed up into Hajduk's half. Hajduk had a good chance from a free kick in the 8th minute which Melnjak headed over the post. 

While Hajduk had the chances it was Rijeka to capitalize on theirs first. A breakaway for Drmić and a goal for 1:0 Rijeka. 

Hajduk had their first corner in the 16th minute and continued to push into Rijeka's half. Krovinović just missed the goal in the 20th minute. 

Hajduk had another corner a minute later. And another in the 23rd minute. Ferro equalized for Hajduk for 1:1 in the 24th minute! 

The match was back and forth for the next 5 minutes. Rijeka had a dangerous free kick in the 31st minute which deflected off of Hajduk’s defense and into Kalinić’s hands. 

Melnjak was found in the penalty area in the 33rd minute, though his shot deflected for another Hajduk corner. And then Melnjak finally got his chance - he scored for 1:2 Hajduk in the 36th minute! 

Smolcic was shown his second yellow in the 41st minute, forcing Rijeka to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. It was 1:2 for Hajduk at halftime. 

Hajduk had their first corner of the second half already in the 47th minute. And another in the 51st. The match was back and forth for the next 5 minutes until a tragic Rijeka mistake in the defense helped Melnjak to his second goal of the match for 1:3 Hajduk!

Another corner for Hajduk in the 60th minute - they were beginning to outclass Rijeka now. 

Mlakar was subbed off for Colina and Vukovic for Grgic as Hajduk's first subs 61st minute. 

Rijeka subbed off Lepinjica for Selahi and Muric for Pavicic a minute later. 

Livaja had a super chance in the 67th minute which went out for a corner. He was hungry to score. Another breakaway for Livaja moments later went over the post. 

Hajduk dominated for the next 10 minutes, leaving Rijeka without much of a chance to attack.  

Rijeka's first real chance of the second half came in the 80th minute but they shot over the goal. 

Sahiti was subbed off for Biuk moments later. 

Biuk forced a corner on his first touch in the 82nd minute. Livaja weakly shot to keep it 1:3 for Hajduk. 

Rijeka had a. corner in the 84th minute and Stanic was subbed off for Cerin. 

The match came to a halt in the 90th minute as Rijeka's fans launched flares into the VIP section. And the match came to an end - Hajduk is the Croatian Cup champion! 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Hajduk and Shakhtar Donetsk Play 'Football for Peace' Humanitarian Friendly in Split

May 1, 2022 -  Hajduk and Shakhtar Donetsk played a humanitarian friendly match at Poljud on Sunday under the theme 'Football for Peace'.

The goal of the match is to raise funds to help orphaned children in war-torn Ukraine who now need accommodation in Croatia.

Tickets were 30 kuna while a donation line is also open to call until May 15. The number is 0609006. A call center was set up at Poljud's White Salon on Sunday, where many celebrities answered the phones, from athletes to actors, singers, current first-team players, veterans, and members of the club's Management Board. A special guest is UEFA President Alexander Ceferin.

Hajduk's new home jersey was also officially presented for the first time at the friendly match. 

 Since this is a humanitarian meeting aimed at raising funds to help orphans in war-torn Ukraine, Hajduk put the first 12 jerseys up for auction, and all funds will be donated to the humanitarian action.

The club will publish two jerseys from Hajduk's first-team players every day on the club's official Facebook page. Bids can be left in the comments below the post with the winner being the highest bidder. Each of these jerseys will be signed by the player whose jersey is up for auction. The auction ends on May 7.

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Before the match, HRT spoke to Hajduk president Lukša Jakobušić and former Croatia national team captain and Shakhtar legend Darijo Srna.

"I would like to immediately thank the President of Hajduk for this great gesture. I never dreamed we would play this kind of game today. However, it is life, we have to deal with it, and we have to fight it. Many thanks to them, many thanks to the fans, Croatia, Split, Dalmatia. This is a great honor for us and once again a huge thank you to Hajduk. Two months ago, when I talked to the president he said ‘Darijo, send all the children, we will take them all. We’ve been through it all, we know what it means to help at this point. Believe me, me personally, my club, and the whole of Ukraine will never forget this from Hajduk," said the former Vatreni captain and the legend of the Split club. Srna is the current sports director of Shakhtar.

"In our DNA is defiance of the powerful and protection of the weak. We in this area know what trouble is, we know what war is and the least we can do is help. We help as much as we can, we know what Darijo did for Croatia and Hajduk. Out of respect for him and the children, we will try to help them at least a little," said Jakobušić.

Lineups for Sunday's friendly match

HAJDUK: Posavec, Fossati, Elez, Lovrencsics, Biuk, Zulić, Lazar, Letaj, Bradarić, Jakir, Ljubičić
Bench: Subašić, Fesyuk, Simić, Pukštas, Čuić, Brajković, Krolo, Nazor, Zubanović, Jurak, Grgić, Hrvojević, Petrović, Vrcić

SHAKHTAR Pyatov, Matviienko, Korniienko, Bondarenko, Marlon, Stepanenko, Konoplia, Sudakov, Topalov, Mudryk, Solomon
Bench: Shevchenko, Puzankov, Trubin, Rakytskyi, Farina, Bondar, Buleza, Udod, Stasyuk, Drambaev, Kapinus, Chekh, Myshnyov, Shostak, Siheev, Kryskiv, Khromel, Boirachuk

Marin Ljubičić scored the first goal of the match for Hajduk in the 10th minute for 1:0, which was the score going into halftime. 

Franjo Lazar scored an early goal in the second half for 2:0 going into the 49th minute. Anel Zulić was subbed off for Zubanović in the 50th minute. 

In the 57th minute, Hajduk subbed off Marco Fossati for Rokas Pukstas, Josip Elez for Stefan Simic, and Franjo Lazar for Luka Jurak. 

Dmytro Topalov scored for 2:1 in the 59th minute and Petro Stasiuk equalized for 2:2 in the 74th minute! But Hajduk's Marin Ljubičić made it 3:2 with 10 minutes to go.

Boriachuk scored during stoppage time for the final 3:3! 

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Football for Peace: Hajduk and Shakhtar Donetsk Playing Friendly Match at Poljud

April 26, 2022 - Hajduk and Shakhtar Donetsk will play a friendly match on Sunday to raise money for Ukrainian war refugees. 

Under the theme "Football for Peace", Hajduk and Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk will play a humanitarian friendly match at Poljud on Sunday, May 1. The goal of the match is to raise funds to help children left without parents in war-torn Ukraine who now need accommodation in the Republic of Croatia.

"HNK Hajduk has already given its training grounds to coaches, staff, and over 80 Ukrainian children who were taken care of in Split, and we are especially glad that they will be able to watch their first team players again during this match," said Hajduk on its official website

The Hajduk - Shakhtar match is scheduled for Sunday, May 1, at 3 pm, and the unique ticket price is 30 kuna. In addition to buying tickets, you can also help by calling a special donor number, which will be published a few days before the game.

Tickets can be purchased at the following points of sale:

- Online at ulaznice.hajduk.hr

- Membership Department at Poljud - every working day from 8 am to 8 pm

- Hajduk Fan shop Joker

- Ticketshop outlets (Tisak Media)

- Ticket booths around the stadium on the day of the match

The first of two humanitarian matches to be played in Croatia will be played in Zagreb between Dinamo and Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday, April 28, starting at 6 pm. Maksimir Stadium will be open to spectators in the west lower and north lower stands. GNK Dinamo will play in the combined lineup of the first and second teams.

Ticket prices for the Dinamo - Dynamo Kyiv humanitarian match: tribune north lower 50 kuna and tribune west lower 50 kuna.

All proceeds from the tickets will go to the Kyiv club, which will distribute the money to Ukrainian refugees.

Ukrainian nationals who are in Croatia due to the war and want to come to the match can pick up their free ticket by presenting an ID. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

SuperSport Croatian Football Cup Final Ticket Sales Announced

April 23, 2022 - HNK Rijeka and HNK Hajduk will meet in the final of this season's SuperSport Croatian Football Cup on May 26 at Poljud Stadium. 

The SuperSport Croatian Football Cup final will be played on May 26 at Poljud Stadium, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for the match between Rijeka and Hajduk will be available at the following prices through the finalist clubs, reports HNS

Tribune North: 90 kuna
Tribune South: 90 kuna
Tribune East: 120 kuna
Tribune West: 150 kuna

Tickets for fans of the finalist clubs (20% of the stadium capacity for fans of each club) will be available directly through the clubs, while ticket sales to the public (50% of the stadium capacity) will be organized by the technical host at Poljud Stadium, HNK Hajduk.

Ticket sales for sectors intended for Hajduk fans
From Monday, April 25, the club's subscribers will have the right of first refusal for the sectors reserved for HNK Hajduk fans.

Hajduk subscribers can buy tickets online, at the Membership Department at Poljud (weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm and on Saturday, April 30, from 8 am to 2 pm), at the Hajduk Fan Shop at Joker (every day from 9 am to 9 pm) and at Ticketshop (Tisak media) points of sale until April 30 at 11:59 pm.

More details are on the official Hajduk website.

Ticket sales for sectors intended for Rijeka fans

Sectors A, B, C, and D will be available for Rijeka fans at the following prices:

Sector A: 90 kuna
Sector B: 120 kuna
Sector C and D: 150 kuna

Ticket sales start on Wednesday, April 27, and the HNK Rijeka box office will be open from Wednesday to May 2 from 4 pm to 9 pm and on Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. From May 2, the opening hours of the box office will be Monday through Friday from 4 to 9 pm.

To buy tickets, you need to present a personal document with a photo and there will be no online ticket sales for the sectors intended for Rijeka fans.

More details can be found on the official Rijeka website

Ticket sales for the public sector
Ticket sales will begin on May 2 at 8 pm. Tickets will be available on the website ulaznice.hajduk.hr, at the Membership Department at Poljud (every working day from 8 am to 8 pm), at the Hajduk Fan shop at Joker (every day from 9 am to 9 pm), and at Ticketshop sales points Tisak media

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Hajduk Tops Dinamo 1:0 at Poljud, Stays in Fight for Croatian Championship Title!

April 20, 2022 - Hajduk and Dinamo met in the biggest Croatian derby at Poljud Stadium tonight in Split, the makeup 9th round match which was meant to be played at the end of last year. Hajduk's 1:0 victory tonight keeps them in the fight for the Croatian championship title! 

Hajduk and Dinamo met tonight for the third time this season, making up the 9th-round match scheduled for the end of last year. In the 18th round, Hajduk won 2:0 at Maksimir, and in the 27th round at the end of March in Split, it ended 0:0. These two rivals will meet again in the last 36th round at Maksimir on May 21. 

The stakes in today's game were exceptionally high for Hajduk, who needed a victory to stay in the race for the Croatian championship title. Defeat would leave Hajduk 10 points behind Dinamo, which was at the top going into the match with 66 points. Hajduk was in third place with 59 points, while Osijek has 64 points.

Hajduk sold 29,000 tickets by Tuesday, and more than 2,500 Hajduk fans gathered at the Poljud training ground on Monday to announce their support for the Split club.

Lineups

HAJDUK: L.Kalinić, Mikanović, Ferro, Elez, Melnjak, Vuković, Krovinović, Fossati, Mlakar, Livaja, N.Kalinić

DINAMO: Livaković, Theophile, Šutalo, Lauritsen, Ristovski, Mišić, Ademi, Petković, Gojak, Emreli, Oršić

Recap

Dinamo was the first to attack with a corner in the 2nd minute, which Kalinic saved. Emreli went down in the penalty area from the play, which brought the game to a halt for nearly 5 minutes. 

Tensions were high in the first 10 minutes, with loud shouts to the ref from Hajduk fans. A dangerous free-kick was awarded to Hajduk in the 10th minute, which Krovinovic took just outside the box. However, Dinamo's defense was solid to clear it. 

Nikola Kalinic pressured Livakovic in the 13th minute, which forced him to clear the ball. Hajduk got their first corner a minute later. After back and forth in front of Dinamo's goal, it eventually ended in Livakovic's hands. 

Hajduk fans were constantly whistling against the ref, who seemed to be calling more for Dinamo in the first 20 minutes. Dinamo pressured Hajduk's defense in the 21st minute and was awarded their second corner of the match. Hajduk's defense cleared it.

Melnjak and Lauritsen had a nasty collision during the corner, which ended in bandaged heads for them. The match finally resumed after another 5-minute injury break. 

After another collision between Livaja and Petkovic, Melnajk decided he could no longer continue, and Colina was brought on as Hajduk's first substitution in the 31st minute. 

Foul after foul, the match slowly went on.  

Hajduk picked up the intensity in the 36th minute and almost had a chance on Dinamo's empty goal, but Livakovic made it back in time for the save. 

Dambrauskas' assistant Skinderis was sent off with a red car for mouthing to the ref in the 40th minute. To say that tensions were high at this point would be an understatement. 

With so many fouls, there was hardly any rhythm in the game for either team. As a result, ten minutes of stoppage time was added to the first half. 

Hajduk was awarded a corner in the 4th minute of stoppage time, but Krovinovic ultimately shot wide of the far post. Dinamo attacked in the next play, which was cleared out for a throw-in by Hajduk's defense. 

Livaja nearly had a one-on-one with Livakovic, but Dinamo's defense double-teamed him to stop the attack.

The first half ended 0:0 with 50/50 possession and Hajduk's 2 shots on target to Dinamo's 0.

The second half started without any changes. Vukovic had two shots within a minute which were both cleared by the Dinamo defense. Mlakar shot at Livakovic minute later. 

Dinamo attacked in the next play but Emreli shanked over the goal. Dinamo subbed on Ivanusec for Gojak in the 54th minute. 

Hajduk had another brilliant chance in front of the goal in the 55th minute. Livaja sent the ball into the near post but it was saved by the Dinamo defense. 

Petkovic and Orsic were essentially neutralized by the Hajduk defense in the match so far. 

Orsic tried shooting from 30 meters but hit high over the post in the 61st minute.

Hajduk was hungrier this half which ultimately ended in a goal. Nikola Kalinic hit a far-post rocket into the back of Dinamo's net for 1:0 in the 63rd minute! 

Dinamo made another sub in the 66th minute - Spikic was subbed on for Ristovski. 

Dinamo picked up the pace in the 5 minutes that followed. Kalinic's fingertips saved the day from Dinamo equalizing in the 69th minute, sending it out for a corner. 

Dinamo subbed again in the 74th - Tolic came on for Misic, and Hajduk subbed off Vukovic for Sahiti. 

Livaja shot wide of the far post in the 77th minute, as did Tolic for Dinamo one minute later. 

In the 84th minute, Hajduk subbed off Colina for Simic and Nikola Kalinic for Lovrencsics. Dambrauskas was making a defensive decision with 5 minutes left. 

Livaja was shown a yellow card in the 88th-minute meaning he'll miss the next match against Belupo.  

Six minutes of stoppage time was added to the end of the match. Dinamo had a dangerous chance in the next minute with Kalinic's save going out for a corner. 

Livaja was one-on-one again with Dinamo's last defender and sent the ball to Mlakar who shot over the goal. Neither team was able to score in the time that remained...

The match ended 1:0 for Hajduk! 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Croatian Cup Semifinal: Hajduk Tops Gorica for Spot in Final (2:1)

March 2, 2022 - The first Croatian Cup semifinal match was played tonight at Poljud Stadium in Split between Hajduk and Gorica, with Hajduk winning 2:1 for a spot in the final on May 26 at Poljud!

Hajduk was a big favorite in the semifinal match against Gorica, which has just suffered five Championship defeats. Hajduk suffered a heavy 3:1 loss to Rijeka in the Croatian First League derby on Saturday.

Since the final is too being played at Poljud, Hajduk fans expected a victory against Gorica and a spot in the final. 

Gorica has thus far led head-to-head, with eight wins with five defeats, but has lost two of three games against Hajduk this season.

Lineups

Hajduk: L. Kalinić, Mikanović, Katić, Elez, Melnjak, Grgić, Fossati, Sahiti, Biuk, Livaja, Mlakar

Gorica: Kotarski, Jovičić, Steenvoorden, Mitrović, Babec, Kalik, Krizmanić, Pršir, Keita, Atiemwen, Dieye

Recap 

Hajduk came out much more aggressively in the first 5 minutes of the match, pressuring the Gorica defense and goalkeeper.  A Livaja cross in the 5th minute was a top chance for Hajduk, with Stipe Biuk heading over the crossbar. 

Gorica attacked well in the 8th minute before Hajduk countered and Sahiti just missed the goal. 

Gorica had a chance in the 11th minute which was headed over the goal. Hajduk continued to press and a brilliant ball in from the right found Grgić's head which went just over the post.  

Sahiti tried shooting from the left-wing but it was an easy save for the Gorica keeper. Livaja danced around the Gorica defense in the 16th minute but hit wide of the goal. Gorica had an unsuccessful counterattack two minutes later. 

Hajduk had two of their best opportunities in the 20th minute but both were saved by Kotarski. 

Gorica held possession for the next few minutes and managed a shot off which went wide of the Hajduk goal.  

A quick 1-2 in front of Kotarski's goal found the boot of Grgić who had another stellar opportunity for Hajduk but his shot was also wide.  

Gorica seemed to only pressure thanks to quick counterattacks but nothing was dangerous. Their first corner came in the 29th minute. 

In the 32nd, Mikanović sent the ball in to Liivaja who found the back of the net, but VAR ruled the goal offside. 

However, it didn't take long for Hajduk to get their goal. Melnjak scored for 1:0 in the 39th minute! 

A Hajduk free kick right outside the box was awarded 2 minutes to go in the half - and Marko Livaja hit the post! 

Hajduk had 57% of the possession in the first half and 8 shots on goal to Gorica's two.

The second half started without any changes on either side.

Hajduk's attacking game continued in the first 8 minutes of the second half. Gorica had their first shot at the keeper in the 53rd minute. Gorica's first corner of the second half came two minutes later. 

Gorica had their best chance of the match in the 57th minute when Pršir shot just wide of Hajduk's goal. A potential penalty for Hajduk was checked by VAR in the 60th minute but was ruled out. 

Just a few minutes later, Livaja's free kick outside the box found the head of Melnjak for 2:0 in the 64th minute!

Stipe Biuk was subbed off for Nikola Kalinić in the 66th minute. 

Gorica subbed Dieye for Cruz and Brbec for Suk in the 70th minute. Hajduk made changes two minutes later - Sahiti was subbed off for Atanasov and Mlakar for Ljubicic. 

In the 79th minute, Gorica subbed Mitrovic for Musa and Suk for Golubickas. 

A mistake in Hajduk's defense gave Gorica a corner in the 83rd minute though they were unable to get past Hajduk's defense.   

Vukovic and Colina came on for Grgic and Melnjak in the 86th minute. The ref added 5 minutes of stoppage time. 

VAR awarded a penalty for Gorirca in the final minutes which Kalik scored for the final 2:1.

Gorica was unable to get past Hajduk's defense for another goal, giving Hajduk the 2:1 victory and spot in the Croatian Cup final! Rijeka and Osijek will play in the second semifinal on March 9. The final is on May 26 in Poljud.

Only one game is played in the Croatian Cup semifinal, and if there is no winner after 90 minutes, extra time is played and then penalties.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 7 February 2022

Nikola Kalinić Returns to Poljud: Former Croatia Striker Rejoins Hajduk from Serie A

February 7, 2022 - It was all but confirmed by Hajduk until late Sunday night - Nikola Kalinić is coming home! 

"HNK Hajduk can confirm with great satisfaction that our first team will be stronger in the continuation of the season thanks to Nikola Kalinić, who is returning to Poljud after more than 12 years and taking over his number 9! Nikola arrives at Hajduk at the age of 34 as a free agent after terminating his contract with Hellas Verona," writes Hajduk to announce the news

Kalinić is a child of Hajduk, passed all age categories of the Academy, and became one of its most recognizable products in the recent history of the Club. He played a total of 79 official matches for the Hajduk first team and scored 44 goals. In the 2007/2008 season, he scored 17 goals and scored 15 times the following season. He left Poljud in 2009 in a then-record transfer to English club Blackburn. In his impressive career, he played for Ukrainian club Dnipro, then for the Italian Serie A clubs Fiorentina, AC Milan, and Roma, and for La Liga giant Atletico Madrid. He scored over 170 goals in official matches and recorded over 50 assists for his teammates in his career.

"We all know very well what kind of accomplished football player he is; he played for some of the world's biggest clubs in the strongest leagues at the highest level of football quality. From the first moment of the negotiations, we saw his determination and interest in returning and his desire to be part of our project to create a strong Hajduk. Nikola is now returning to his club, full of motivation to help us in the fight for trophies. That says enough about what kind of person he is because he chose to return to his football home despite more generous offers and the opportunity to stay in Italy. His appearance, personality and, in the end, the most important thing, which is football quality, will bring a lot to our team. Not only in terms of football but also in terms of role models, leaders, and people who will help the whole team rise to a higher level of football," said Hajduk sports director Mindaugas Nikoličius.

Nikola could not be happier to wear the white jersey again. 

"Returning to Hajduk is a special moment in my life. I signed contracts with many clubs, big clubs, played for them, but Hajduk is the greatest for all of us who grew up here, and we are emotionally attached to it. This is where I grew up, the place where I gained my football affirmation; in the end, this is where I was born, and this is where my people are. So I will do my best to keep this moment, to cheer up everyone who breathes for Hajduk and keep this moment and the current emotion around the club as long as possible," said Kalinić. 

The official presentation of Nikola Kalinić will be at a press conference on Tuesday at noon.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

 

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